From mid-February 1945, around 1,000 female concentration camp prisoners, mostly Jews from Hungary and the Netherlands, were forced to work for Philips at the Hausberge camp in Porta Westfalica. These prisoners had come from Auschwitz; from the Horneburg camp for women, a satellite camp of Neuengamme concentration camp; and from the Reichenbach camp for women, a satellite camp of the Groß-Rosen concentration camp. From early October 1944, Philips had equipped the upper tunnels in the Jakobsberg hill with machines and production equipment for manufacturing communications devices for the Wehrmacht. The women were taken to the camp in two groups and forced to produce radio valves and light bulbs in the Jakobsberg facilities.
The camp was evacuated on 1 April 1945 and the prisoners were transported north for several days. Some of the women reached the Salzwedel satellite camp and were liberated by American troops on 14 April, while others were taken via the Fallersleben and Helmstedt-Beendorf satellite camps to Hamburg, where they were liberated in late April or early May 1945.
According to survivors, the commander of the camp was SS-Unterscharführer Brose.
Mid-February 1945 to 1 April 1945
1000 Female Prisoners
Production of radio valves and light bulbs
Kirchsiek street at the junction of the A-road (Bundesstraße), 32457 Porta Westfalica, Germany.
Directions by public transportation: Can be reached on foot from the Porta Westfalica railway station.
Historians and schools began to express interest in the history of the satellite camps in Porta Westfalica in the 1980s. However, it was not until 1992, following long public debates, that the city council of Porta Westfalica unveiled a memorial plaque commemorating the concentration camp prisoners who were forced to excavate the tunnels. The plaque was placed in the Hausberge quarter of Porta Westfalica at the initiative of French survivors of the Barkhausen camp.
The memorial path "Wege des Erinnerns, Mahnung gegen das Vergessen" was inaugurated in Porta Westfalica in May 2014. The path contains six tablets which present information about what happened in Porta Westfalica satellite camp during 1944 and 1945. An expansion of the path is planned. Interested groups are able to book different kinds of guided tours along the memorial path.